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|Big Pocono State Park|
Camelback Mountain (site of Big Pocono State Park) from Mt. Spring Lake
|Location||Monroe, Pennsylvania, United States|
|Area||1,305.6 acres (5.284 km2)|
|Elevation||1,978 ft (603 m)|
|Named for||Camelback Mountain (Big Pocono)|
|Governing body||Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources|
|Website||Big Pocono State Park|
Big Pocono State Park is a 1,305.6-acre (528.4 ha) Pennsylvania state park in Jackson and Pocono townships in Monroe County, Pennsylvania in northeastern Pennsylvania in the United States. The park is on Camelback Mountain and is maintained jointly by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and Camelback Ski Corporation.
From the summit of the mountain, one has a view of vast portions of eastern Pennsylvania as well as parts of New Jersey and New York. A paved drive, 1.4 miles (2.3 km) in length, around the summit provides visitors with a view in all directions. Visitors can see the Delaware Water Gap from this location.
The land on which Big Pocono State Park is situated was owned by Henry S. Cattell at the turn of the 20th century. Knowing of the fondness that others in the area shared with him for the view that the summit provided, Cattell constructed a stone cabin there in 1908. For many years the cabin was left unlocked so that anyone who wished to use it as a shelter, could.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission purchased the land in 1928, 12 years following the death of Cattell. In 1950, the state leased a portion of the land on the north slope for commercial development. The company was later renamed the Camelback Ski Corporation, and the facility is now a major ski resort.
In 1953, the Pennsylvania Department of Forests and Waters (now the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources) acquired 1,306 acres (529 ha) of state game lands, which comprised the land that was purchased by the Game Commission, including the ski area lease, and the area immediately around the summit.
Big Pocono State Park opened to the public in 1954, following the construction of facilities and the scenic drive around the summit. The Cattell Cabin served as a park office and a nature museum for many years.
Although the museum no longer exists, the stone cabin still stands and is paramount only to the great views one can obtain by going to the different observation points provided by both DCNR and the Camelback Ski Corporation.
Big Pocono State Park offers a hiking trail system that consists of 7 miles (11 km) of interconnecting trails. The trails are of varying terrain and grade, and park officials caution inexperienced hikers to inquire at the park office before attempting the steep and rocky North Trail.
In addition to the hiking trails, there is also a horseback riding trail (3 miles (4.8 km)). The trailhead is near the entrance of the park, on the west end.
Three picnic areas with a total of 50 tables are situated within the park. The picnic area adjacent to Cattell Cabin has tables in an open setting, and the east and south picnic areas are in a wooded setting.
The Camelback Ski Area, located on the north slope, boasts the largest skiing, snowboarding and snowtubing facility in the Pocono Mountains. The facility has 33 trails, 13 lifts, two terrain parks, detachable quads, a halfpipe, night skiing and 100% snowmaking. The ski area also operates the Cameltop restaurant, which is located near the summit and is open from Memorial Day to Columbus Day. In the summertime, a waterpark named Camelbeach is operated on the grounds of Camelback, and this can be seen from Big Pocono.
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